Being an amazing writer takes more than just a good handle of grammar and spelling. Don’t assume you can simply jump into the career path and pull in a lot of cash. It’s takes a lot of work and patience to create something a large audience will want to read.
I’ve seen a lot of potentially good writers take up the mantle of “freelancer” only to watch them fail. But it wasn’t because they couldn’t put words together. In most instances, it was all in the mindset of the individual.
Anyone can be a writer, but being successful at it is a different story.
How to Be an Amazing Writer
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to create something to draw an audience. I would consider myself a success and I’ve never stepped foot in a writing class…yet.
Over the years, however, I have acquired a great deal of knowledge regarding freelance writing and building success. Here are my top 10 methods from that experience.
1. Determine What You Believe as “Successful”
Everyone has a different idea of what “success” means to them. For some, it’s about constantly growing income. Others like myself simply want to see their name on the spine of a book. It’s your idea of success that will be the biggest motivator and the most difficult aspect to achieve.
For instance, I view myself as a success simply because I can pay my bills and give my children what they need.
Reaching for the clouds is one thing, but you need to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. Otherwise, it’ll be easy to get swept away when things don’t work like you want.
2. Don’t Be Afraid of Critiques
There is a difference between critiques and pure trolling. It’s important you understand these concepts. As a writer, you will undoubtedly face people who hate your work for the sake of hating. A real critique explains what you did wrong or why a person didn’t like the material.
Critiques are also useful to build yourself as an amazing writer because many of them will explain how to fix the problem. When I first started, I had a terrible time with commas and other minor grammatical issues. Thanks to the editors at Textbroker critiquing my work, I learned quite a bit and fixed many of my issues.
3. Schedule Your Time Wisely
One of the most important parts of becoming an amazing writer is time management. I still have somewhat of a problem with this, which is why I understand how important time scheduling is. Without it, you may find it difficult to meet deadlines or put effort into personal projects.
If you’re a freelance such as myself, schedules are vastly important if you want to bring in a livable wage. While many people relish in the idea of working from home in their pajamas when they want, it’s not a realistic mindset.
4. Treat Each Task Equally Important
Whether you’re writing for yourself or creating content for a client, each project needs to be treated equally important. Not only does it make you appear more professional, but you’ll also increase your workload.
This is one of the biggest reasons why clients like working with me. Each project is treated as though it was something important for myself. From 150 word product descriptions to 3500 word eBooks, it’s all a priority.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Say, “I Don’t Know”
No one is perfect. Saying, “I don’t know” isn’t a sign of weakness. On the contrary, admitting you have faults demonstrates professionalism. It tells clients and the audience you’re not going to hand over crap and call it gold.
Turning out one substandard and terrible piece of content after another in rapid succession doesn’t mean you’re an amazing writer. And I’ve seen many freelancers with this mentality fail after a short amount of time as clients stop using them.
The point is don’t try to blow smoke at a client or audience and expect a modicum of success.
6. Spend Time Researching
Content writers, bloggers, news organizations and even authors all spend time researching materials. Knowledge is power, especially today if it’s based in provable facts. Don’t believe what you know today will remain true for tomorrow, though.
You’re not going to create mind-blowing content using information and facts from 20 years ago. Well, unless you’re writing a story that takes place 20 years ago. There’s an old saying, “Write what you know.” That doesn’t mean you can’t write about what you learn.
7. Always Be Respectful
Respect in any industry denotes professionalism and helps strengthen networks. You never know when someone you meet will be in a position to hand over a lucrative opportunity. Whether you’re a freelance writer, plumber, carpenter or a gas station attendant, respect is key to success.
There will be times when you’ll come across someone you can’t seem to please no matter what you do. Maintain your level of respect even if he or she is not. Word of mouth is a powerful tool on the Internet, and a bad interaction could hurt your chances of becoming a recognizable success story.
8. Understand the Audience
One of the key elements to being an amazing writer is understanding the audience for which you’re writing. Understanding how these people think and knowing common behaviors can pave the way to creating astounding content.
Do you think Stephen King keeps romance readers in mind when writing a book? Most of the time, I bet not. He knows his audience and how to please them. You’re not going to affect everyone the same way, so don’t try to cover 100% of the people. Target your specific readers and make your content shine.
9. Take a Class, or Two, or Even Three
There’s nothing wrong with taking a few classes in writing to polish up your skill and technique. In fact, I plan on taking several once the Christmas season is over. There’s no such thing as knowing too much for your industry.
The beautiful thing about online classes is that they are plentiful. While most of them are unaccredited, they still offer an incredible amount of information and often taught by professionals in their respective fields.
In fact, I’m debating on hosting a few classes of my own for WordPress soon.
10. Blog More
Blogging is used for more than just sharing daily thoughts or ideas. It’s also a method in which to hone your writing skills and promote yourself. One of the reasons I created this website was to give me a way to practice writing when I was short on work.
As a writer, you can use a blog to promote your content, host a portfolio or even engage potential clients. Don’t view a blog as a way to make money online, but see it as a way to flex your muscles as an amazing writer.
After all, practice makes perfect.
It Takes Work to Succeed
No one is expecting you to write a miraculous masterpiece overnight, unless you have an agreement with a client. Even the most seasoned of writers will make mistakes or miss the mark. Bottom line, don’t be discouraged if things don’t immediately go your way. It could take time before you see real results as an amazing writer.